Surely you already know and you may have even had a laugh: WhatsApp has been updated with the option to listen to audio notes at double speed. And so you listen to the long message from your friend with a high-pitched voice, in half the time, grasping the fundamentals and leaving the straw out … All are advantages, right? We already enjoy this option on YouTube and we use it for uninteresting moments in the videos, we are not here to waste time, right? Even Netflix enabled this option to watch series and movies at full speed! But what challenges does this possibility of accelerating messages pose? What effects does this have on tasks that are by definition slow or longer-term, like real conversation or teaching? We reflect on this with a story.
I wish I could double-speed your sermons
Laura is a teenager who is always in a hurry through life. He already has a mobile and is passionate about having so much information, so many friends’ contacts and so much to gossip at the click of a button. She loves to send audios to her friends to tell her things, it is almost better than talking face to face: she sends it to many people at the same time and nobody interrupts her. His parents, Carlos and Ana, are also quite hooked on mobile phones, less to talk on the phone than to check emails, be in contact with WhatsApp and social networks and view and read diagonal articles and videos that they have gone viral. It is very normal for Laura, and also her parents, to go from one window to another, abandon a half-read article, fast-forward the videos if there is a less interesting fragment or consult the mobile in idle times. Now they have discovered double speed in audio messages and Carlos and Ana have started to use them for short: they do not have time to listen to very long audio notes from coworkers or even family members and surely listening to them faster and in the middle of time they will be able to grasp the fundamental Laura has also started using this option for fun: it is very funny to listen to herself or her friends talking at full speed and thus she keeps the essential information if the audio is to plan a meeting. And the truth is that the parents and the girl are finding it so useful that they begin to think that it is a pity that this option does not exist when they listen to a friend’s problems live or when they are in a meeting or in class. And Laura has already told her parents that she wish she could double-speed her sermons on the importance of leaving the screens for a while. How heavy they are!
As Catherine L’Ecuyer told us in a presentation that we hope you have seen at normal speed because it deserves it, “when we saw the Abeja Maya, vit smelled slowly with Willy and it was all very slow. Now they are redoing many of the contents that we saw as children but at a breakneck speed”. A) Yes, “The child gets used to that speed, which does not exist in the real world. When he returns to the real world, everything bores him ”.
The problem with getting used to reading diagonally and videos and audios at double speed is that real life is not like that. And educating is, without a doubt, a slow and long-term activity that we cannot go through (although many times we would like, especially in times of tantrums, lectures or bad answers, right?) At double speed. As Javier Urra told us in a presentation, “in this fast-paced, competitive and consumerist society, we all want quick recipes to be super-dads”, but “Educating is an art that cannot be cooked in the microwave.” If our children, but also and especially us, become more impatient because we get used to paying half attention and passing messages quickly so as not to get bored, our educational work could be impaired. And we would also dare to say that our social life is already being harmed: how many times do we look at our mobile phone during a short break from a conversation with a friend or do we interrupt the conversation because we have received a non-urgent notification?
Keys to educate on low heat and savor it
Therefore, although double speed can be practical and fun at times, we believe that it is very important to educate (and above all, we insist, educate ourselves) attention to Real tasks, slower, requiring patience. For that we give you some keys:
1 Resist looking at your cell phone in idle times when you are in company: It is better to contemplate the landscape, the people you are with, intensely savor what you are eating on the terrace, take notes of important things …
2 When you watch a series or a movie at home, not be two screens: If while you are watching a chapter of your series, you are watching your mobile, you are mis educating your attention and stopping enjoying your series. Also do not forget that your children are always watching you.
3 Listen to the audio notes at their normal speed while doing a more automatic task, such as driving a familiar route, folding laundry, cleaning the toilets, or taking a walk. Audio notes are a great opportunity to keep up with friends, and there’s no rush to listen to them as soon as they arrive. You can enjoy them over low heat.
4 When you have stayed or are in family time, remove the mobile from your sight. Try to attend it only if it rings and if it is an important message. If it’s a notification that can wait (like a new comment to your Instagram post), why interrupt a meeting you’ve been organizing for a while if you can put it off for later?
5 Find slow and real tasks to do at home with the little ones, such as playing board or card games, reading a book together, watching a movie without distractions, rediscovering the cartoons (slower, yes) that you saw in your childhood, having a deep conversation looking into the eyes …
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.